Briere strikes early in return to Flyers' lineup
Top centre gives Philadelphia first-period lead against visiting Tampa Bay
Daniel Briere made his presence known in his return from abdominal surgery, scoring a first-period goal to give the Philadelphia Flyers a 1-0 lead over the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night.
Briere, who was expected to miss three to four weeks with a torn abdominal muscle, centred the first line with Mike Knuble and Simon Gagne.
With the Flyers on a power play, he knocked in a rebound past Lightning goalie Mike Smith at 17:20 of the first period for his fourth goal of the season.
Briere, who signed with the Flyers as a free agent last year, felt something amiss in his groin during an Oct. 22 game against San Jose. He scored the tying goal late in the third period and had surgery three days later.
The Sharks won 7-6 in a shootout, handing Philadelphia (0-3-3) its sixth straight loss to open the season.
Briere, 31, had 31 goals and 72 points last season during his first year with Philadelphia.